PHOTO COURTESY SELF INSERT SELF INSERT — The band Self Insert’s members are pictured above. From left are, per band member Sebastian Hedge, “Unknown,” Sebastian Hedge and Zakary Waxman.

The pitched-up, distorted vocals and cacophonous production style of Deltona band Self Insert might not be for everyone, but their throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to music is what drew me in. 

Self Insert is a musical project from Deltona residents Zakary Waxman, Sebastian Hedge and —Hedge’s words, not mine — ”multiple unknown members represented only by silhouette.”

Over the top? Sure. But not being able to name all of your bandmates doesn’t seem too far off for a band whose musical inspirations are more about the feelings conjured than the music itself.

“Sometimes I feel our recollections of songs that we’ve heard, recently or a long time ago, are more potent than the songs themselves. Once a song congeals into memory space, it becomes something different that is entangled with your own imagination, rather than an exact replica of the song by the original artist,” Hedge said. “To me, that experience is inseparable from creativity.”

Even the name of the band is more mind-bending than it may seem initially.

“Our band name is a term to describe the texture of life that comes from the thin and tenuous distinction between what is unreal or artificial, and what is reality,” Hedge said. “We think making art in this way is thus more like a “self insert” (being created as something artificial that is also still you) than simply ‘being yourself.’”

The band’s forthcoming first EP, Philas tackles some pretty heavy themes by way of that pop-inspired alchemy. The three-track EP, composed of the songs “Necrophilia,” “Objectophilia” and “Technophilia” are not for the faint of heart — and certainly not for kids, given the lyrical content — but they call to mind the blistering, maximalist hyperpop made famous in recent years by bands like 100 gecs as well as rhythms typically heard in hip-hop.

But ask the band, and they can’t quite pin who their inspirations are.

“We might bring up a pop or rap artist we are inspired by, but only as a sort of idea or filter to pass our individual experiences through,” Hedge told The Beacon. “We are for people who like pop culture alchemy.”

The band is working on a full-length album, and I’m looking forward to hearing how this band’s sound morphs and alchemizes in the future.

Explicit lyrics warning: Most of their released tracks include lyrical content and references not for the faint of heart or for children. 

Self Insert’s EP Philas will be available to listen to on music streaming platforms Oct. 28. You can get a sneak peek by listening on bandcamp at

Recommended if you like: 100 gecs, Death Grips

Genre: Hyperpop, experimental hip-hop

— Are you a local musician or band working on an earworm? Send it to and you may be featured in a future West Volusia Playlist.


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